Aaron Shanahan

Guinness R.F.C. 17

Tallaght 1sts R.F.C. 22

Tries: Stephen Heaney, Ken McGovern, Aaron Shanahan
Con: Adam Nolan 2
Pen: Adam Nolan

John Madden Cup/Philip Preston Trophy
Iveagh Grounds

The Tallaght men’s first team played their first competitive game of the season when they travelled to Crumlin to take on Guinness in the first round of the John Madden Cup. The game also doubled as the second staging of the Philip Preston memorial trophy. Guinness started well and scored a converted try to take a 7-0 lead after twenty minutes. But Tallaght hit back when Stephen Heaney took a great line off Dave Clarke’s pass to break back against the cover defence and score a fine try. Adam Nolan converted the try to level the scores. But Guinness had a number of big, effective ball carriers and they took the lead again with another converted try to make it 14-7 to Guinness at half-time.

Tallaght responded strongly in the second half. After several strong carries from the forwards, winger Daryl Keogh broke free down the sideline. He was caught five metres out but the ball was worked back in and hooker Ken McGovern powered his way over from five yards out for the try. Nolan again converted the try and then tacked on a penalty to give Tallaght a 17-14 lead. Then full back Aaron Shanahan, who had given Guinness problems all day with his strong counter-attacking, went over for a try in the corner to make it 22-14 to Tallaght. Guinness kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to five points which ensured a tense finish. Guinness laid seige to the Tallaght line and Tallaght flanker Kevin Quinn was shown a red card after an off the ball altercation. But even down to fourteen men, Tallaght managed to hold out and they now face Railway Union at home next Saturday in the semi-final of the John Madden Cup.

After the match Philip Preston Senior presented the Philip Preston trophy to the winning captain Adam Nolan. It was a cracking, hard fought game and it was a fitting tribute to the Tallaght legend. Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh was delighted with the spirit his team showed. “It was a really good cup tie and there was little between the teams. They were a strong, physical team but our defence stood up well to them and we scored a few fine tries too. As ever we have stuff to improve on but it was definitely a positive start to the season”.

Man of the match: Simon Collie

Tallaght RFC

15. Aaron Shanahan
14. Daryl Keogh
13. Simon Collie
12. Stephen Heaney
11. Tony O’Loughlin
10. David Clarke
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Andrew Grace
2. Ken McGovern
3. Tony McManus
4. Alan Moore
5. Alan Sower
6. Kevin Quinn
7. Mark Keogh
8. Adam Nolan


16. Sean Judd
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Joe Ivers
19. Padhraig Jones
20. Simon Gaskell

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Players wear pink socks in tribute to Phil Preston

Ste Heaney breaks through for his try

Simon Collie makes a break

Daryl Keogh makes a break

Ken McGovern scores his try

Tallaght captain Adam Nolan accepts the Philip Preston trophy from Philip Senior